Green Chocolate?

I know it looks and sounds awful but it tastes great! In a hurry today to get to the Farmer’s Market so I concocted this little number in my trusty Ninja blender. I probably should have blended it up a little longer…oh well!

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What does it taste like you ask? It actually tastes delicious like a chocolate banana milkshake that’s actually good for you 🙂

Off to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some more healthy greens. Have a great day everyone!

 

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PB2 and Banana Power Oatmeal

Mmmmmm….Peanut Butter!

Who loves peanut butter (me pointing at myself) this girl! The only problem is that I have absolutely no self-control around an open jar of it and can easily mow through half of it in 2 seconds flat. OK, I’m exaggerating but only a little.

So, I cannot tell you how happy I was when I discovered PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter. With only 45 calories, 1.5g of fat and 5g of carbs in 2 Tablespoons, it was as if I’d found the holy grail! Now whenever I need a PB fix I mix together some PB2 powder and water so I can indulge without overindulging.

Anyway, this morning after my workout I realized I had a couple of bananas that were going to spoil if I didn’t use them soon so here’s what I came up with:

ImagePB2 and Banana Power Oats

Since this is generally my post-workout meal, I cook 1/2 c oatmeal in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Next, I add in the protein and peanut butter powder with a splash of flax milk. Continue adding in the flax milk until it’s the consistency you like and mix in a packet of stevia (optional). Top off with a sliced banana and you’re ready to start the day.

Wild for Wasabi!

Seriously, I can’t get enough of Trader Joe’s Wasabi Mayo, I crave it almost every day! I threw this little salad together last night with the leftover edamame I had in the fridge. I added some chopped avocado to get some healthy fats.

20131105_Wasabi Tuna SaladWasabi Tuna Salad

Combine the tuna and mayos in a small bowl. Next, fold in the edamame and serve over a plate of baby spinach. Top off with the avocado and it’s ready to eat.

Pumpkin Tofutti Delight

I realized after I uploaded the picture that I forgot to include the Tofutti in the pic. Anyway, I was craving something sweet last night and came up with this concoction that’s packed with protein. It’s my version of pumpkin pie in a bowl.

20131104_Pumpkin Tofutti Protein Dessert1-2 T Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
1 pkt MHP Probolic SR Protein
2 T pumpkin
1/4 c Good Karma Flax Milk (Unsweetened)
1 pkt stevia
dash of each: cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and cloves

To make it a little easier to mix together I put the Tofutti in the microwave for about 8 seconds. Next, I mixed the packet of MHP’s Probolic SR protein, pumpkin, stevia and added in the flax milk to a pudding like thickness. I added in the spices and mixed it all together for a bowl of yummy goodness!

This little piggy loves spaghetti squash…

Since I try to refrain from carbs at dinner, I cure my pasta craving by using spaghetti squash instead. I didn’t realize how easy it was to make spaghetti squash until the other day when I noticed that I could cook it in the microwave rather than using the oven and heating up the whole house. Anyway, last night I decided to make myself a colorful combo not knowing what to expect but let me tell you, it was delicious!

I should probably mention that I love spicy food so this spicy mustard is a perfect lo-cal sauce for me. I use it a lot!

20131104_Spicy Spaghetti Squash Pork Pom Seeds 1 c spaghetti squash (cooked)
4-6 oz lean pork strips (cooked)
2 T pomegranate seeds
Kroger sweet hot mustard

I tend to cook everything the day before then throw stuff together and heat it up in the microwave.

Spicy Tuna Kale Salad

I crave this almost every day. The kick of Trader Joe’s Wasabi Mayo makes this one of my favorite lunches.

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1 can Albacore Tuna
1 T Trader Joe’s Wasabi Mayo
1 T Reduced Fat Vegenaise®
1/2 C Edamame (cooked and shelled)
1-2 C ZEN Blend Greens

I like to start by filling a bowl with 1 can of albacore tuna (drained) then mix in the wasabi mayo and Vegenaise®.

Next, I mix in my greens (I love new deep green blends by Earthbound Farm Organic) and top off with edamame.

Pumpkin Oatmeal With A Protein Kick

More often than not I get asked what I eat so I got to thinking…why not blog about it. I love this time of year when the weather starts to cool and the holidays are just around the corner. Fall is such a great time for pumpkin and all types of squash so why not incorporate some pumpkin into your morning.

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1/2 c oatmeal
1 pk MuscleMeds Carnivore Vanilla Caramel
2 T pumpkin
1 pkt stevia
1/4 c Good Karma Flax Milk (add in to the consistency you desire, I get it at Sprouts)
Dash of cinnamon

I like to cook the oats in the microwave for about 2 minutes. Next, I mix in a packet of protein powder then add the pumpkin with a little flax milk. I add in the stevia and sprinkle with cinnamon. This is a nutritious post-workout breakfast for the fall!

Does Your Workout Work For You?

When you get ready to head out to the gym do you know what you’re going to do when you get there? Do you have a plan or do you just get there, hop on a piece of cardio equipment and go through the same routine you’ve been doing for years? I can tell you that I have seen the same people year after year at the gym that look exactly the same as when they first joined and here’s why…

1. You do the same routine or go to the same class every day.

You need to add variety to get results. The body will adapt quickly to the same 30 minutes on the StairMaster every day. Do a combination of strength training and cardio, check out a different class, or get on a different piece of cardio equipment. I personally love kickboxing, there’s nothing like punching and kicking a heavy bag to release stress! If you really want to torch some calories I suggest adding in a kickboxing class.

2. You have no idea what you’re doing or how to use the equipment at they gym so you only go to the machines you know how to use.

My suggestion is to find a trainer that can help you learn how to use the equipment and create a plan for you to meet your fitness/weight loss goals. When working with a trainer start from day one writing down your workouts so you can use them on the days you are not with your trainer. For most people having a trainer is not a luxury, it’s a NECESSITY! Having a standing appointment with a trainer will help keep you motivated, safe, and most importantly ACCOUNTABLE.

3. You multi-task while working out. What I like to call “Cell phone cardio”.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times each day I see women sitting on a recumbent bike, walking the treadmill, or some other piece of cardio equipment while texting away on their cell phones. If you can text while you’re working out, you’re not working out hard enough. I put one of my clients on an elliptical machine and she flipped out because her heart rate went up to 12o BPM’s she told me that “someone” told her that for her age/size she shouldn’t go above 120 BPM’s. I gently explained that you need to go by how you feel, NOT the number on the screen. Can you carry on a conversation? If the answer is yes, you are not working hard enough.

4. You find a routine in your favorite fitness magazine or one that a “celebrity” is doing and expect it to work the same for you.

I applaud you for making the effort to pull out the routine and try it. Unfortunately, more often than not, you’re not putting in the same kind of effort/intensity required. The model or celeb in the photos is working with a trainer and nutritionist on a regular basis. Not to mention, they airbrush these people to make them appear perfect. Find something you like to do, put the effort in, and stick to it!

5. You tell yourself that since you went to the gym today you should reward yourself with a bag of cookies or chips. WRONG ANSWER!

You can spend hours at the gym working out but if you fill your body up with processed junk food, you are wasting your time. You need to feed your body with healthy nutritious food not empty calories. Every Saturday I go to the grocery store and stock up on what I will need for the upcoming week. Fuji apples, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, chicken, turkey, oatmeal, egg whites (in the carton), almond milk, protein powder, etc. On Sunday, I grill/cook all my chicken and veggies so that it’s all ready to eat. Every night I put together my cooler and fill it with my breakfast and lunch for the following day. I also include a shaker for protein shakes, small Tupperware containers with 1 serving of protein powder, and apples for snacks. A little preparation goes a long way!

These are just some of the mistakes I see at the gym on a regular basis. If you are committed to making a change in your life through exercise and nutrition then find the help you need to get you where you want to be. Go to the front desk at your gym, look around at the people at your gym find the most fit person and ask them what they do. Go online and order books on fitness & nutrition. The book I’m currently reading and one I’d highly recommend is IMPACT by Todd Durkin it’s filled with great information, motivation, and inspiration.

Most of all just get up and MOVE!!!

xoxo Fit Chica

AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN (2010)

Over the holiday season, millions of Americans gain anywhere from 2 to 7 lbs. In fact, the one or two pounds people gain during the holidays tends to stay with them for life. So, how do you avoid holiday weight gain? Lean muscle is the secret to keeping your metabolism firing to burn fat all day long. People who are active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays.

Here are some tips for keeping weight off during the holidays:

  • Physical activity. It’s a fact, people who are more active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays. This year, park farther away from the entrance to the mall and get a nice walk in and take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. This year, instead of being the wallflower at all those holiday parties, get on the dance floor and dance your a$$ off! Dancing burns off those extra calories you’re consuming. Just 30 minutes of dancing burns about 150 calories. So crank up the tunes and get your body moving!
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can be a major source of hidden calories. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost as much as fat (9 calories per gram) and nearly twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein (4 calories per gram). Just one apple martini has 235 calories and almost 12 grams of sugar! Stick to a flavored vodka & soda or a light beer. Drink plenty of water! In fact, for every drink you have, drink at least 1 extra glass of water. Water will help your body metabolize the alcohol and may counteract some of the dehydrating effects of alcohol on the body such as that almost inevitable next-day hangover. No matter what, ALWAYS have a designated driver!
  • Limit soda and other sweetened beverages. These drinks add extra calories, too. Simply put, they are drinks high in fat and/or sugar. A can of soda, for example, has 150 calories and 42 grams of sugar! An 8 oz. glass of egg nog has about 220 calories! It would take about an hour of ice-skating to burn off that nog (220 calories burned per hour). Personally, I love light egg nog but have made the switch to Rice-Nog, it’s delicious and only 80 calories per serving. However, H2O is always the best choice!
  • Schedule holiday celebrations at normal meal times. Celebrations outside of normal meal times encourage people to pile on snacks which always mean extra calories. This one isn’t always easy to follow with all the events and holiday parties, it’s the holiday season and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats. Try to use good judgement, do your best, and don’t stress over it.
  • Choose foods with fewer calories. Foods with fewer calories for their size make you feel fuller sooner. Reach for those celery sticks and stick to lean protein snacks like shrimp or turkey slices. I absolutely love traditional stuffing unfortunately, just ½ cup of this delectable treat requires half an hour of shoveling snow (195 calories burned per 30 minutes). Since I live at the beach I’d have to shovel sand and I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Now, I opt for brown rice stuffing which saves 100 calories per serving. Just a little discipline goes a long way.
  • Use smaller plates. The bigger your plate, the more food you can pile on it, which means you’ll be more likely to overeat. Using smaller dishes may actually help you eat less. Using a smaller plate “tricks” your mind to think that you are eating the same amount of food as you normally do when you will probably be eating less than you normally do. Try using a salad plate for your entrĂ©e. Eating less at each meal can save hundreds of calories saved each week. Remember, it’s the little changes that make the biggest differences!
  • Eat a healthy snack beforehand. You’ll be less likely to eat a lot of fattening food at parties. Try an apple with almond butter or a protein shake with a small piece of fruit like a pear or an apple. One medium-sized apple contains 5 grams of fiber and only 80 calories, they’re great to stave off that sweet tooth. Or, grab my new favorite protein treat the PowerCrunch Bar, a healthy snack that tastes like dessert! My picks for protein powders are ProtoWhey, MyoFusion, and Elite XT.
  • Weigh yourself weekly. Weekly NOT daily! It’s the holidays and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats just don’t stress over it. Just try not to overdo it and if you do, get right back on the track the next day. If you notice the needle on the scale creeping up a bit, create a plan of how you’ll get back on track when the holidays are over.
  • Get plenty of REST! Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, stress, moodiness, and the inability to be your best. With all the holiday parties and late nights it’s easy to skimp on sleep but give yourself the gift of sleep this holiday season. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and you deserve it!
Don’t be a statistic! Get FIT, boost your energy, and shed pounds this holiday season by participating in a fitness class (i.e. yoga, SPX Pilates, TRX, Kickboxing), go to the gym, or just head out for a walk in the crisp winter air! NOW is the perfect time to get a jump on that New Year’s Resolution.

Written by Jennifer Billings, BS, CPT
www.dolphitness.com
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The MOST Important Meal of the Day

BREAKFAST! It’s not just the most important meal of the day it’s actually my favorite meal of the day. Breakfast is the fuel that keeps our minds and bodies running throughout the day. We’ve heard how important breakfast was since we were kids and if you have kids, I’m sure you do everything in your power to get them to eat breakfast every day. Well, how often do you heed that advice?

With our hectic schedules, it’s easy to stop by the nearest Starbucks®  grab a cup of coffee and a bagel, a muffin that’s loaded with fat and calories or, skip breakfast altogether. Well, I can tell you that a cup of coffee and a muffin (or bagel) does not count as a nutritious breakfast. A Caramel Macchiato has a whopping 270 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 34 grams of carbs and we haven’t even added the calories from the bagel or muffin. A reduced fat blueberry muffin had 450 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 86 grams of carbs. So, if this was what you had for breakfast this morning, you’ve just ingested 720 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 120 grams of carbs!

Many people skip breakfast in an effort to lose weight, this is not a good strategy since you are more likely to gain weight than lose it. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more than usual or make unhealthy choices at their next meal. These people often reach for unhealthy, high calorie, sugary snacks before their next meal to silence their growling bellies. People who eat a well-balanced and nutritious breakfast are more likely to be successful in losing body fat and maintaining a healthy weight than those who skip it.

So, you ask, “How is eating breakfast good for weight loss?” Think of it this way, you have been asleep for 6 to 8 hours so, your body is in starvation mode and your metabolism is very slow when you first wake up. Not eating for an extended period of time, as we do when we are sleeping, causes your metabolism to go into slow motion. Eating breakfast within the first 30 minutes of waking revs your metabolism back up, gives your body the boost of energy it needs to start your day, and increases your bodies’ fat burning ability. Skipping breakfast or any other meal for that matter will only slow your metabolism down. So, if you are trying to lose weight, you want to keep your metabolism running fast.

Let’s face it, when we think about breakfast visions of warm, fluffy pancakes with sausage links, a giant banana-nut muffin, a big bowl of Cap’N Crunch®, or an omelet stuffed with cheese and bacon usually come to mind. Well, as tasty as those things are they do not make up a healthy or nutritious breakfast. Stay away from white breads, pastries, muffins, and sugary cereals because they digest quickly and spike your blood sugar level setting you up for a crash. Bacon, sausage, and cheese are loaded with fat and calories so you should avoid these as well. A combination of lean protein and fibrous carbs will satisfy your hunger and keep you full and focused.

What exactly is a healthy and nutritious breakfast? A healthy breakfast should have a combination of lean protein, complex carbs preferably from whole grains, and a healthy fat. Some sources of lean proteins include eggs or low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt. I love Voskos® and Fage® plain non-fat Greek yogurt. Protein powders (i.e. whey or soy) from your local nutrition shop can also be used as your protein source. I use MyoFusion® and Elite 12 Hour protein powders because they each have a great blend of protein and taste delicious! Complex carbs include oats or oatmeal and whole grain breads or cereals. Oatmeal is a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, zinc, iron, and magnesium it is also a good source of protein and fiber. Healthy fats include nuts and nut butters, flax seeds, and avocados.

A good example of a healthy breakfast would be 3 to 4 egg whites, ½ cup of oatmeal, with a tablespoon of ground flax seeds and ½ cup of fresh blueberries. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and provide an excellent source of vitamins C and E. My breakfast consists of ½ cup of oatmeal, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 1 scoop soy protein powder, and ½ cup of almond milk with cinnamon and stevia for sweetening. I cook the oatmeal and chia together then add in the protein powder, almond milk, cinnamon, and stevia. I look forward to my breakfast every morning! If I’m running short on time, I blend my protein powder, ½ cup of oatmeal, splash of almond milk, water, and ice together and have my breakfast to go!

If you prefer cold cereal for breakfast, make sure to read the label and choose one that lists whole grains as the first ingredient with no added sugar. Uncle Sam® and Kashi® Go Lean cereals are great options as they are both high fiber and low sugar cereals. If you’re thinking of grabbing one of those breakfast or energy bars, keep in mind that they are not as healthy as they seem. Make sure to read the labels as many are high in sugar and fat.

If a traditional breakfast isn’t your thing consider having a whole grain tortilla filled with chicken breast and veggies, a baked yam sprinkled with cinnamon and a lean ground turkey patty, or non-fat Greek yogurt with blueberries and a handful of natural (low sugar) granola, these are all good choices for a nutritious breakfast.

A healthy and nutritious breakfast is the best way to start the day. Eating breakfast improves your thinking ability, keeps you focused, and helps prevent obesity. The morning meal is the fuel that keeps us running throughout the day. Try it for a week and see how much better you feel. Let me know, I love feedback!

Jennifer Billings, BS, CPT
Fit Chica Fitness
SPX Fitness Trainer
TRX Suspension Instructor